David Mason’s ‘Spooning’ appears in the 1991 winter issue of The Hudson Review. This poem is about a speaker recapturing his dead grandfather’s life.
‘a song in the front yard’ by Gwendolyn Brooks is a well-known poem about a young speaker’s interest in the darker side of life.
‘My Mother Enters the Work Force’ by Rita Dove is a powerful poem about a mother who enters the workforce.
‘Under Stars’ by Tess Gallagher is a thoughtful poem that traces a speaker’s walk outside at night. It includes her reminiscence about her past and childhood.
‘Language Lesson 1976’ by Heather McHugh is a thoughtful poem. In it, the speaker uses language cleverly to make statements about America and love.
‘Weather Eye’ by Isobel Dixon is a beautiful poem about childhood. It describes the routines that controlled a speaker’s life during their youth and how they miss the order and family time.
‘Childhood in Heidelberg’ by Andries Walter Oliphant is a thoughtful a complicated poem in which the speaker, a child, discusses their life growing up in Heidelberg, South Africa.
‘Learning to Love America’ by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim is a thoughtful poem about identity. It explores the way the speaker, likely the poet herself, learned to love the country.
John Walsh’s ‘I’ve Got an Apple Ready’ appears in The New Oxford Book of Children’s Verse. This poem features a child who is in a hurry and keeps an apple in case she needs it on the way.
‘Cartoon Physics, part 1’ appears in Nick Flynn’s Some Ether (2000). This poem mocks the humorous concepts of animation that defy real physics and biology.
‘The Youngest Daughter’ was published in Cathy Song’s first poetry collection Picture Bride (1983). This poem explores the relationship of an aging daughter and her mother.
‘Inexpensive Progress’ by John Betjeman is an incredibly effective poem. In it, the speaker acknowledges and speaks out against the way industrialism is removing humanity’s access to history and nature.
‘Subway Wind’ by Claude McKay is a beautiful and tragic poem. In it, the speaker describes a trapped city wind longing for the freedom of the seaside.
‘Atlantic City Waiter’ by Countee Cullen is a deeply thoughtful poem. In it, Cullen describes the actions, strength, and pride of an Atlantic City waiter.
‘Stone’ by Charles Simic is a short and impactful poem. In it, the speaker describes why he’d like to be a stone more than another living creature, like a dove or tiger.
‘Affirmative Action Blues’ appears in Elizabeth Alexander’s Body of Life (1996). This poem is about the incident of police brutality on Rodney King in 1991.
‘Ask Me’ appears in William Stafford’s one of the best-known poetry collections, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford. This metaphorical poem is bout life and memories.
‘The Child Who Was Shot Dead by Soldiers in Nyanga’ by Ingrid Jonker describes an indominatble spirit of freedom and justice embodied within a symbolic child.
‘The Clown’s Wife’ by John Agard explores the theme of duality through a wife speaking about her clown husband and herself.
Olga Broumas’s ‘Calypso’ contains an allusion to the mythical character of Calypso mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. It is about a speaker dreaming of having intimacy with her imaginary companions.
‘Triolet’ by Robert Bridges is a short love poem that takes a specific poetic form. It acknowledges that love is a painful experience and personifies the force as a “hard master.”
‘Why I Am Not a Painter’ by Frank O’Hara is a poem inspired by O’Hara’s experience with painters in New York. It details an interaction with Michael Goldberg.
C.D. Wright’s ‘Girl Friend’ poems appear in her poetry collection Steal Away (2002). This love poem is dedicated to Nina, the speaker’s girlfriend whom he first saw a few years ago.
‘They Say My Verse is Sad’ by A.E. Housman is a direct, two stanza poem. In it, Housman describes why he writes poetry and who he writes for.
‘To a Poor Old Woman’ by William Carlos Williams is a thoughtful poem. In it, the speaker describes the experience of an old woman eating a bag of ripe plums.
‘In the Desert’ by Stephen Crane is a popular short poem that presents readers with a strange scenario. The poem speaks on human nature through a disturbing image of self-destruction.
‘Fork’ by Charles Simic is a surprising and imaginative poem. In it, the speaker uses interesting examples of figurative language to depict a fork.
‘Iris’, a heart-touching poem about death and love, appears in the American poet David St. John’s collection Study For The World’s Body. This poem is dedicated to the poet’s grandmother Vivian St. John.
‘The Panther’ by Ogden Nash is a children’s poem about panthers. It uses humor to depict the panther and the dangers it poses.
‘The Plain Sense of Things’ by Wallace Stevens is a thoughtful poem about creativity. The speaker notes the “plain” times when one is forced to contend with a weakened imagination.